The Ketogenic Diet
You will likely have heard of the ketogenic diet – ‘keto’ for short – but for those who aren’t familiar with it, let’s briefly break it down. Essentially, it is a high fat, low carb diet that is used for many different purposes. At the moment, it’s commonly used for weight loss. This is because it trains your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates (which our bodies would usually burn first). By restricting the intake of carbohydrates, the body starts to use fat as its primary energy source, producing ‘ketones’. Ketones are not at all dangerous and can be found in our blood, urine, and even our breath. High ketone levels mean that the diet is doing its job. So we know the ketogenic diet is good for quick and effective weight loss, – but what we think makes it a deadset hero, is its benefits for children living with epilepsy and autism.
How the ketogenic diet might help your child
Often times a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) is coexistent with that of epilepsy. Actually, for some quick stats,
between 7 and 21 % of children diagnosed with ASD are also diagnosed with epilepsy. Children with epilepsy also tend to experience symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD*). The ketogenic diet has been shown and proven to manage and reduce seizures and improve behaviour in those with epilepsy. In many cases, the implementation of this diet has been able to reduce the need for seizure medication or nullify it entirely. A ketogenic diet is proven to be as effective an anti-convulsant and anti-epileptic treatment as prescriptive medicine. It has also been successful at improving sociability, repetitive behaviours, imitation, nervousness, and other manifestations of ASD. Pretty cool, right?
*Read our recent post on ADHD and how to manage symptoms here
How we can help
The Nourish’d menu has a range of keto-friendly meals available each week, which you
can find by clicking on the ‘Keto-Friendly’ category at the top of our online menu here. Unlike the paleo diet that we posted about last week (click here to read the post), the ketogenic diet is a bit more ambiguous in terms of what to eat and what not to eat. It’s unique to the individual, so we’d recommend seeing your GP or dietician if you are just starting out.
Of course, it’s largely about your fat to carbohydrate intake, making sure to prioritise fat consumption and reduce carbs, but the exact amounts will vary person-to-person. Nourish’d meals keep to about 10g of carbohydrates for Standard sized meals in order to cater to a broader range. While some may advocate for a more percentage-based model of the diet, we use a gram-based model which is more universal. To view the nutritional information, you can click on the image of the meal you’re interested in which will bring up its nutritional panel per portion size.
Reference List – For more information